Paper – Canada: Cannabis harm reduction: perspectives of women who use and allied social and health-care providers – Participants described public health guidelines as judgmental in tone, ineffective in conveying useful information

Source: Lex Pelger Newsletter

 

Received 29 Sep 2023, Accepted 19 Apr 2024, Published online: 10 May 2024

 

Abstract

Background

Despite the legalization of cannabis use in Canada in 2018, there remains little research on cannabis harm reduction, particularly for women. Scholarship and public health guidelines tend to focus on the risks of use, emphasizing abstinence rather than harm reduction. Additionally, harm-reduction research and guidelines often lack the perspectives of women who use cannabis and allied social and health-care professionals.

Methods

This community-based participatory research mixed method study explores the perspectives of women who use cannabis and service providers on the Canadian Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG) and a synthesis of scholarship from 2015 to 2020. The research synthesis and the LRCUG were presented for review by participants in two focus groups (n = 11) and respondents to an online survey (n = 19).

Results

Participants described public health guidelines as judgmental in tone, ineffective in conveying useful information, and foregrounding abstinence. Participants also identified shortfalls in the research presented, which did not attend to the social context of cannabis use and cannabinoids’ possible benefits alongside risks.

Conclusion

Participants’ responses affirm that future LRCUGs should focus on informative rather than prescriptive content with meaningful inclusion of people who use cannabis and service professionals as co-creators of knowledge for safer use.

Read report. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09687637.2024.2346655

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